TEN TIPS ON COPING WITH FIBROMYALGIA DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON…

Managing the pain from Fibromyalgia is hard enough but during the busy festive period, it can cause bad flare-ups for sufferers unless they take care.

Here are some tips on how to manage during Christmas.

1. Don’t be frightened to ask for help, be it with the shopping, cooking or cleaning. As most sufferers tend to ‘look fine’ most people do not realise the pain they are suffering inside, so if you don’t ask you won’t get help.

2. If work is leaving you exhausted and in pain, then design a flexible plan that works for you and your boss. Ask about working from home part-time, or setting your hours for earlier or later in the day so you can be more productive, during this busy time.

3. At the office, rearrange your workspace for comfort and easy accessibility. A telephone headset, keyboard tray, or other products may help put less stress on your body.

4. Don’t try to always put on a happy face. Your loved ones need to know what makes your symptoms worse.

5. Rest, rest and more rest, every little helps to recharge your batteries. When you feel that overwhelming urge to sleep try and get forty winks.

6. When the invitations start coming in, consider if they will keep you from the rest, exercise, or relaxation you need to feel well. It’s OK to simply say “no.” And stick to it.

7. Support groups can play an important part in the lives of people with a chronic illness. Whether in person or online, they offer a safe place to talk with others who may share your frustrations and concerns.

8. Tomorrow is another day and with Fibromyalgia tomorrow can be a more comfortable day, so try to not think negative when you are having a bad day.

9. Keep all your ‘helpful’ pain relievers on hand, be it a hot water bottle, pillow, cushion or whatever you have that helps your pain.

10. Finally, make sure you enjoy Christmas like everyone else does by being prepared.

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LIFE SAVING SKILLS…

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In a recent study only 1 in 5 people have ever done a first aid training course or the basic life saving skills.

Ignoring if someone needed help could be the difference between life and death. St. John’s Ambulance say up to 140,000 people die ‘each’ year in situations where first aid could have helped save their lives.

So make one of your New Year Resolutions to learn basic life saving skills. For more details on First Aid Training Courses, in your area from St. John’s Ambulance go to their website http://www.sja.org.uk

They also have a FREE iphone and Android First Aid app which has clear advice for everything from minor ailments to CPR.

FIBROMYALGIA TIP…

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Make time for yourself every day as a part of your treatment. Get yourself involved in a hobby, put on some music, rest — whatever makes you feel good. It may bring more balance to your life, help you fight stress, and boost your energy for the things you need to do.

HOW TO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR FIBROMYALGIA PAIN DURING WINTER…

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Minimize your stress, as it can improve your quality of life. Try yoga, exercise, sleep, and meditation. Or keep in mind activities that you enjoy or that make you feel better.
Regular, low-intensity exercise, such as walking or warm-water exercise, is one of the best treatments for fibromyalgia, you may also sleep better. The clocks have changed now and your body needs to reprogramme itself towards winter.

Soaking in a warm bath or hot tub can relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and help you move more easily. If it’s difficult for you to get in and out of the tub, try a stool in the shower so you can sit and let the water do its work.

Don’t start late night comfort eating as it will keep you awake. For better sleep at night avoid caffeine from the late afternoon on. Watch out for caffeine in chocolate, coffee, and some soft drinks and teas.

When weighing activities, and invitations consider if they will keep you from the rest, exercise, or relaxation you need to feel well. It’s OK to simply say “no.” And stick to it.

If you’re not getting enough rest, set the mood in your bedroom for sleep. Reserve your bed for sleeping, and keep the room dark, quiet, cool, and distraction-free and keep regular sleep hours.

THE NHS AND FIBROMYALGIA…

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It’s often been said that some GP’s are not as sympathetic as others towards a sufferer of Fibromyalgia, in fact some still feel ‘it’s all in your head’.

So, it’s nice to see that the NHS have a dedicated page about Fibromyalgia http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalgia/Pages/Introduction.aspx with details on diagnosis, symptoms, causes, treatments and self help with useful links on the same page.

It also has ‘a patient’s story’ link and asks you to write to them with your Fibromyalgia story and diagnosis.

For many un-diagnosed Fibro sufferers this will be’ just what the Doctor ordered’ (as they say).